April 12, 2018

1 John 3:1-3…“And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” vs. 3

John is happy to tell his readers that God loves them and that they are God’s children. He writes, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” What a powerful affirmation! This really is the core of the good news. Just think of it, we are the beloved children of God! As such, John reminds us that our identity should be reflected in our behavior, and his observation makes sense. Of course we will conduct ourselves in a way that reflects our position; and of course that will involve purification. That’s what is expected of saints, the “holy ones” of God. But it’s at this point that some get into big trouble. They read John’s words about purifying themselves and are side-tracked into obsessing about their fleshly desires and passions. The result is a life-long battle to maintain constant pure thought–a Sisyphean struggle that can sap all the joy and vitality from life. Instead of being able to simply live in the security and love of their relationship with God, such persons live in terror of messing up. They are convinced that even the slightest lapse into lustful or selfish thinking will make them ineligible for eternal life. What a horrible way to live! We are children of God…nothing will ever snatch us out of God’s hand! To think otherwise is a rejection of grace’s amazing power!

Thought for the Day: How can I purify myself?